The global economy is at a broad inflection point. From COVID-19 and increasing levels of inequality to the climate crisis, the changes automation presents to the workforce, we face deep and diverse challenges, and the public’s expectations of both the government and business are changing in the face of these difficulties.
In recent years, there have been low levels of public trust in both government institutions and capitalism in terms of their capacity to effectively address these circumstances. This is an important point for Asia, a region that will experience the emergence of the fourth largest middle class the world has ever seen. This class will have its own expectations about business’ social responsibilities. When making decisions within their organizations, business leaders in Asia and beyond will have no choice but to consider factors beyond the walls: certainly, the impact their choices will have on their employees and customers but also on society and the planet.
Meredith Sumpter is the CEO of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism. This column is based on her remarks in MBC’s Global Freedom and Democracy series in November 2021.